In a step towards safeguarding children's rights, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to constitute commissions in this regard and submit their compliance reports.
The directions came from the division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh on a bunch of petitions seeking directions for constitution of such commissions.
The Commission for Protection of Child Rights Act, 2005 was framed to provide for the setting up of national and state commissions to safeguard child rights. The Act also ordered setting up of children's courts to provide for speedy trial of offences against children or of violation of child rights.
During the hearing of the case on Monday, the Chandigarh administration apprised the high court that as it already had a juvenile justice board, it had sought exemption from the Centre to create the commission.
On this, the bench made it clear that the Act made it mandatory for the states as well as the union territories to constitute the commission and no exemption could be sought. In case of Haryana, the bench observed that though the state government had in 2010 given a clearance for the constitution of two children's courts, no status report had been filed regarding its constitution till date.
However, answering the Punjab government counsel's request for time to file their reply, the division bench made it clear that if the state failed to file a detailed report on the next date of hearing, then its principal secretary of the department of social security and women and child development would remain present for explanation.
The case is listed for hearing on May 28.